OK, I Will Admit It: My One Guilty Pleasure

I am about to say something that will offend a lot of people.

All my life I wanted a full length mink coat. I spent my childhood pouring over the Blackglama ads in fashion magazines. Mink made every woman look like a movie star. Wearing a mink provided status, glamour, class, sexiness, authority and respect.

So finally at the age of 57 I decided it was time to investigate my mink options at the end- of-year sales in February two years ago. I looked at Saks but was disappointed by their limited selections. Next was Bloomingdale’s, but that store gave me such a headache I just couldn’t buy my mink there. I even made a few calls to an online retailer, Canadian Fur Company. The salesman explained the intricate details on how minks are priced. I had no idea that mink fur is auctioned like a piece of art at Sotheby’s!

I don’t know what possessed me to check out Macy’s. Perhaps it was the fact that my grandmother worked for the store for 40 years. I meandered into Macy’s fur department and I was happily surprised by their vast selection and quality. And their sales were amazing. I found a wonderful sales women to help me try on a variety of furs. I wanted a traditional full length mahogany mink. She had one and it fit perfectly plus it was 70% off the original price.

I bought the coat but I never wore it that year. In 2015 we had so much snow and slush that I was too afraid to wear it. Finally last weekend I had my opportunity. But wouldn’t you know, the very first day I wore it, I decided to walk by Bergdorfs and the animal rights protestors were lined up in front of the store!  In a New York minute, these people were hurling insults at me. At first I was laughing but then the anger and venom coming from this crowd was frightening. I immediately crossed the street and commiserated with a young man in a fox jacket.

I was curious about these protestors so I did some digging. Founded in 2002, Caring Activists Against Fur (CAAF) was established to address the alarming rise in fur sales. In 2001, U.S. retailers reported fur sales of $1.53 billion from $1.0 billion ten years ago. New York City still remains the number one city in fur sales. According to their web site, they believe their approach is very professional and moderate using loud chanting, fliering, poster-holder and graphic videos. They “try to shame those who wear full-length fur coats, by calling their attention to the animals’ murdered, with chants such as ‘Fifty Dead Animals, One Fur Coat’”.

Their ongoing campaign is to work toward the total abolition of the global fur industry and vocalize their extreme objection to this “inexcusable, retrograde, medieval barbarism” and “to enlighten the public to the grim realities behind their whimsical, self-deluding notions of fashion.” Ha. That would never happen in a city like New York.

On a regular basis, CCAF protests in front of all the major New York City department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Saks. I am surprised these stores have not taken any action to deter them but it is a free country and a very free city.

I called Macy’s and upped my insurance policy just in case some crazo throws paint on me. At least I’ll be able to get a new coat. No fanatic is going to ruin my guilty pleasure.

I shop for things I love and I know that in turn, supports many industries and provides jobs for millions of people.

I am sorry for offending the animal rights activists. But I am hooked on my mink.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I’d love to know.

Please comment below.




  1. Ellen, You do look gorgeous in it – think you wore it when I saw you last, and you did get it at quite the bargain. rate – a real metzsiyah – as they say, so I think if you are gonna wear mink you might as well love it.
    Life is short.
    I do appreciate your acknowledging that there is another perspective on wearing fur and giving some respect for that position by doing your research and sharing it.

  2. Thanks Madelyn! Those protestors did not exist when I was growing up in Manhattan. There were many more fur coats back then in the 60s and 70s. And women of all economic backgrounds wore fur. I guess society is more cognizant now of fashion industry practices and with the increasing income disparity, there are more fur hating people. But life is short and I have to live it on my terms.

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